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New
by Fred Pruitt

What do we think is the meaning of the word "new"? I'm not talking an academic meaning, but the meaning behind the word in 2 Corinthians, when Paul says, "Behold, all things have become new."

And also, why do we think Jesus said you can't put new wine into old wineskins?

It's because the old has been discarded. What happens to us in Christ Jesus' death and resurrection completely discards the old. What emerges is something totally new.

That's what "new" means. It means it is fresh, unused, without spot, unknown, having no past, because its newness springs from right now.

The old is not even used to put the new into. What was old has been transformed, and no longer exists anymore as it was, and has become something utterly not seen before on the face of the earth nor in the created heavens. (Consider Jesus' transfigured body BEFORE the resurrection.)

The old is everything we were, or thought we were, everything we seem to be when we consider our human lives. The old is the "man" or "woman" we have always known ourselves to be. What we think of ourselves when we consider our strengths and weaknesses, our potentialalities and our liabilities. "I'm not good with money," or "I'm a great cook."

That person, who has strengths and weaknesses, who has potentialities (because of education, background, well-planned good choices, intellect, good moral character) or who has liabilities (because of education, background, wrong choices, stupidity, flawed character) -- that person -- which is you -- has been "rubbed out," as the Indians used to say. Anything which is of the flesh (and all that is of the flesh) is "poof" -- no more!

Only the new birth in Christ is home now. And there is no past there, there is nothing to live down, nothing to live up to, nothing to accuse ourselves of. "All things have become NEW." He is new every moment, and doesn't know that former chimera who masqueraded as a person in ourselves. Now that the rightful Lord of the Manor has arrived and taken possession of His house which He built, He only knows and sees Himself in us, and in being "seen" of God, we live now ONLY in His potentialities, where new wine (His Spirit) has been put into new wineskins (our spiritual selves) and one not seen by the world ever before rises NOW as a Son of God, bursting out in this present moment out of the cornucopia of Plenty which surges out of our Presence.

We ARE the Presence (not we look for "it"). When you see that just for a moment even, the whole universe changes. You no longer "need" anything. "And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." And AS the Presence, the Plenty of God is moved through us as Bounty, Blessing, Love and Grace to the world around us.

Paul said, "Lift up your weak knees" in faith, and to us that means we are no longer all the things that for years have seemingly dammed up our stream -- our lack of dedication, our laziness, our mulitudinous failures of love, our lack of understanding or our intense desire for others to notice us, to understand us, to know how hard we've tried and yet always coming up short.

WE ARE NO LONGER THAT! There is no "inner child" to heal. There are no brain convolutions to unravel. There are no traumas that have scarred you for life. Your human history is NOT a consideration!

ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW! You now (this moment) have a fresh start, for "NOW is the DAY of salvation!"

ONE LIVES NOW, WHO SPEAKS TO THE WIND AND THE SEA, AND THEY OBEY HIM, AND THAT ONE IS YOU!

The "old Fred" that once was, that had his history and knew what he could do and what he couldn't do, he done gone away and disappeared into a land as far away as the east is from the west and ne'er more will he be seen, for the Son of Righteousness has arisen, the winter is past, the sun melts the ice, the rivers break up, flowers pop out of snowbanks, trees bud before their time, the fields are WHITE, WHITE WHITE with the harvest and NOW is the time to reap.

And we laugh, oh we laugh, we laugh so deep and so long, we gush with praise, we cry tears in joy, because it is true, it is true, there is only laughter, and there is only rejoicing.

It is well with thee.